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Photo Credit: James Dimmock/CBS.


By Oliver Jones

The script called for a fat cat. Grudge, the feline companion of new character Cleveland "Book" Booker (David Ajala), was meant to just plod around in the background of scenes in the current season of CBS All Access' Star Trek: Discovery. But that wasn't an easy assignment for expert animal wrangler Paul Rutledge and his colleague Lesley Laurence.


Grudge the cat on Star Trek: Discovery

Grudge the cat on the set of Star Trek: Discovery.

Photo Credit: Michael Gibson/CBS.

"Being on set can be an extremely stressful situation for an overweight cat," says Rutledge, who worked with several Discovery producers on The CW's historical romance Reign.

Then the veteran wrangler got a burst of inspiration. Why not cast a Maine Coon? This exotic-looking feline is the largest domesticated cat breed and one of the oldest bred in North America.

Sonequa Martin-Green holds Grudge the cat on Star Trek: Discovery

Sonequa Martin-Green as Commander Burnham and Grudge of the CBS All Access series Star Trek: Discovery.

Photo Credit: Michael Gibson/CBS.

Enter Leeu and Durban, two lookalike brothers who belong to restaurateur Michelle Smith and take turns playing the part. Far from portly (though the still-growing Leeu, 3, is over 40 inches long and weighs more than 20 pounds), the breakout animal stars of the new season have brought a playful athleticism to the role. They have even been known to deviate from the script during takes and leap suddenly onto their co-stars' backs.

Two tabby Main Coon cats

Siblings Leeu and Durban share the role of Grudge.

Photo Credit: Michelle Hendry.

As for stressed out? Not these tabbies. "Leeu is a very relaxed, easygoing cat," says Smith. "The littler one, Durban, can be more uptight. But then on set, they tend to switch spots." Smith, who also keeps two Wheaten Terriers, describes her Maine Coons as doglike. They rush the door when she returns home, come when called, and Leeu will do most anything for a treat. (Durban, on the other hand, is motivated by the sound of a can opener.)

Grudge the cat on Star Trek: Discovery

Life is pretty purr..fect for this Hollywood feline.

Photo Credit: Michael Gibson/CBS.

While these two are extraordinarily well trained (Leeu knows how to use the toilet), Smith keeps a backup plan in her pocket just in case. Says Smith, "I have some really excellent catnip."

Originally published in Watch Magazine, November-December 2020.

Star Trek: Discovery streams exclusively on Paramount+.

Photo courtesy of Stephen Colbert.


Poppy is one lucky hamster. While sheltering in place, Young Sheldon star Iain Armitage revealed on Instagram that he was fostering his new furry pal, noting , "She makes life in quarantine much more fun!"

Indeed, CBS stars have always enjoyed the companionship of their four-legged friends, whether it's on a hike or during a much-needed cuddle on the couch.

Scroll to see more sweet photos of TV stars spending time with their furry friends!

Stream full episodes of Young Sheldon on Paramount+.


Darin Brooks sits with his family and their pet dog.

Photo courtesy of Darin Brooks and Kelly Kruger.

Darin Brooks (The Bold and the Beautiful) poses for a family portrait with wife Kelly Kruger, baby Everleigh, and Chance.

Watch The Bold and the Beautiful Weekdays on CBS and Paramount+.

Stephen Colbert sits on a couch while petting a dark brown dog.

Photo courtesy of Stephen Colbert.

Stephen Colbert (The Late Show) "You're just in time for dinner, Mr. Bond. And Benny is...hungry," he jokes about his dog.

The Late Show With Stephen Colbert airs Weeknights at 11:35/10:35c on CBS. Stream full episodes on Paramount+.

Photo courtesy of Ashley Madekwe.

Ashley Madekwe (Tell Me a Story) purrfects her red-carpet look.

Stream all episodes of Tell Me A Story on Paramount+. Season 1 also airs now on The CW.

Emily Wickersham snuggles in very close to her sleeping dog.

Photo courtesy of Emily Wickersham.

Emily Wickersham: (NCIS) watches over a snoozing Miguel.

Stream full episodes of NCIS on Paramount+.

Norah O'Donnell hugs Ollie her light brown dog.

Photo courtesy of Norah O'Donnell.

Norah O'Donnell (CBS Evening News) and Ollie are ready for their close-up.

Watch CBS Evening News Weeknights on CBS and Paramount+. Check local listings for times.

Allison Janney laughs as one of her three dogs approaches the camera during a walk in nature.

Photo courtesy of Allison Janney.

Allison Janney (Mom) "Weekends were made for hikes with the kids," she says.

Stream full episodes of Mom on Paramount+.

Michela Watkins smiles against a backdrop of a western desert.

Photo courtesy of Michaela Watkins.

Michaela Watkins (The Unicorn) shares a selfie with Jeff.

Stream full episodes of The Unicorn on Paramount+.

Bryton James and his dog

Photo courtesy of Bryton James.

Bryton James (The Young and the Restless) gives his pup a lift.

Watch The Young and the Restless Weekdays on CBS and Paramount+.

Photo courtesy of Sharon Osbourne.

Sharon Osbourne (The Talk) and husband Ozzy make room for their pack of dogs.

The new season of The Talk premieres Monday, Sept. 21 on CBS and Paramount+.

Carrie Ann Inaba and her cat Mimi Vader

Photo courtesy of Carrie Ann Inaba.

Carrie Ann Inaba (The Talk) "Who rescues who?" she says of her late feline friend Mimi Vader.

The new season of The Talk premieres Monday, Sept. 21 on CBS and Paramount+.

Originally published in Watch Magazine, July-August 2020.

SEE MORE: Don't Miss The New Digital Issue Of Watch—Check It Out!


Allison Janney is more than just an Emmy Award winner; she's also a true animal lover and advocate of pet adoption. When she's not playing Bonnie on CBS' hit comedy Mom, she's speaking up for those who can't do it themselves—puppies and dogs! From posting pet adoption listings on social media to volunteering at animal shelters, Janney is one devoted dog lover.

Watch Mom on CBS. Stream all episodes only on CBS All Access.

She’s a Dog Rescuer

Janney's three dogs—named Sippie, Dutch, and Addie—were all adopted. "They all bring so much love and happiness to my life," she has said.

She’s An Animal Advocate

The award-winning actress uses her voice to do good in the world. In 2016, Janney joined Best Friends Animal Society, an organization dedicated to ending the killing of dogs and cats in shelters. She was featured in many campaigns alongside furry friends who need homes, and she continues to use her social platforms to promote animals in need.

Her Love Translates On Screen

Kate Micucci Allison Janney Anna Faris and William Fichtner on Mom

Patty, Bonnie, Christy, and Adam on Mom.

hoto Credit: Robert Voets/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

When Adam's (William Fichtner) dog passes away in Season 5 of Mom, Bonnie (played by Janney) adopts a puppy to help cheer him up. Although Adam wasn't quite ready to move on, he took Gus in, and the pup has played an important part in the show since. Whether celebrating Christmas with the family or walking down the aisle, you can find Gus alongside Bonnie and Adam—and even Christy (Anna Faris)—in times of need.

She Supports Adoption

In a segment she hosted for ShelterMeTV, Janney talks about the importance of adopting. She encourages getting involved at local animal shelters and finding your forever friend. "They need your help and support," she says in a ShelterMeTV video.

Her Dogs Are Picture-Perfect

Who wouldn't want to show off their pups when they look like Sippie, Dutch, and Addie? Janney's photogenic pooches are well-accustomed to shoots by the Mom actress.

She’s Active In The Community

In addition to posting pet adoption listings, Janney served on a committee to introduce the Friends of L.A. Animal Shelters organization, dedicated to distributing funds to Los Angeles–area shelters in need. Janney makes it known that "shelter pets will never forget that you gave them a new beginning."

She Can Get Along With Any Dog

Mom fans are sure to recognize this adorable cast member! Even though Gus doesn't belong to Janney, she always treated him like one her own.

Dog Videos Make Her Day

When she needs cheering up, Janney turns to animal-themed videos to brighten her day. She's not shy when it comes to sharing the love on her social media for some of her favorite accounts, including WeRateDogs.

Watch Mom on CBS. Stream all episodes only on CBS All Access.

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